In the early modern period, the Dutch developed several financial instruments and helped lay the foundations of modern financial system.
Dutch East India Company (VOC) became the first company in history to issue
stock to the general public. In other words, the VOC was officially the first publicly traded company,
 because it was the first company to be ever actually
listed on an official
stock exchange. While the Italian city-states produced the first transferable government bonds, they did not develop the other ingredient necessary to produce a fully fledged
capital market: corporate shareholders. As
Edward Stringham (2015) notes, "companies with transferable shares date back to classical Rome, but these were usually not enduring endeavors and no considerable
secondary market existed (Neal, 1997, p. 61)."